... I got home and it was a Friday and The Lancet had arrived in my mail that day. I just picked it up and looked through it and there was a paper in it by Kay Tee Khaw, who was Professor of Clinical Gerontology in Cambridge, on seasonal changes in fibrinogen, which she thought might be due to seasonal infections or something, that allowed for temperature. I just suddenly thought, ‘That’s it! It’s air pollution that is changing fibrinogen. Fibrinogen makes the blood clot and blood clots cause heart attacks. Professor Anthony Seaton, Air Pollution Research in Britain c.1955–c.2000
Professor Anthony Seaton CBE MD DSc FRCP FRCPE FMedSci (b. 1938) qualified from Cambridge in 1962. He trained at Liverpool in general medicine, cardiology, and neurology. After senior posts in respiratory medicine in West Virginia, USA, and Cardiff, he was Director of the Institute of Occupational Medicine in Edinburgh (1978–1990). He was Head of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Medicine at Aberdeen University from 1988 until his retirement in 2003 (now Emeritus). His research from 1969 to 1990 largely concerned asthma and occupational lung diseases, and led to the development of UK protective health standards in coalmining, asbestos work, and the silica, wool, and PVC industries. Throughout his career he worked as an NHS consultant, and taught respiratory and occupational medicine. He has written seven books and over 300 papers on respiratory and occupational medicine, and other topics, and has lectured on these subjects internationally. He was the Editor for Thorax from 1977 to 1981, and in 1999/2000 he was President of the British Thoracic Society. He chaired the UK Government’s Expert Panel on Air Quality Standards, and sat on the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants from 1991 to 2003, and the Royal Society’s Working Group on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology from 2003 to 2005.